Parchment Cooking Bags

Published November 1, 2012. From Cook's Illustrated.

Overview:

The traditional French cooking method en papillote uses parchment paper as a packet in which to bake—and serve—fish, chicken, meat, or vegetables. The enclosed cooking environment helps concentrate flavors while keeping delicate foods like fish moist and intact. In the past, we’ve found making packets from parchment paper cumbersome and substituted aluminum foil. A new product, PaperChef Culinary Parchment Cooking Bags ($3.79 for 10 bags), promises to eliminate the fuss: Simply slide food into these basic bags made of parchment and then fold over the open end three times to seal. We prepared chicken, fish, and vegetables in the bags, comparing them with foil pouches and traditionally crimped parchment. Food cooked similarly in each wrapper, but the PaperChef bags sped up preparation, taking 1 minutes to fill and fold (compared with 2 minutes for folding foil and 5 minutes for crimping parchment). At 38 cents per bag, they are not as cheap as parchment sheets (19 cents) or foil (10 cents), but they do eliminate the need for… read more

The traditional French cooking method en papillote uses parchment paper as a packet in which to bake—and serve—fish, chicken, meat, or vegetables. The enclosed cooking environment helps concentrate flavors while keeping delicate foods like fish moist and intact. In the past, we’ve found making packets from parchment paper cumbersome and substituted aluminum foil. A new product, PaperChef Culinary Parchment Cooking Bags ($3.79 for 10 bags), promises to eliminate the fuss: Simply slide food into these basic bags made of parchment and then fold over the open end three times to seal. We prepared chicken, fish, and vegetables in the bags, comparing them with foil pouches and traditionally crimped parchment. Food cooked similarly in each wrapper, but the PaperChef bags sped up preparation, taking 1½ minutes to fill and fold (compared with 2½ minutes for folding foil and 5½ minutes for crimping parchment). At 38 cents per bag, they are not as cheap as parchment sheets (19 cents) or foil (10 cents), but they do eliminate the need for scissors and a ruler and taming unruly sheets of curling parchment.

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  • Product Tested

    Results Key:

    Good ★ ★ ★ Fair ★ ★ Poor
  • Prices are subject to change.
  • Highly Recommended - Winner

    PaperChef Culinary Parchment Cooking Bags

    Quick and easy, these parchment bags eliminate the fussiness of folding and crimping sheets of parchment paper and look better on the plate than a packet of foil does. Simply fill and fold—it’s as easy as stuffing a lunch sack.

    • Speed ★★★
    • Ease of Use ★★★
    • Food Quality ★★★
    • Presentation ★★★

    $7.98 for 10 bags

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  • Recommended

    Parchment Paper

    The traditional French method of folding food en papillote has all the style associated with Paris but takes a lot of work. The packets look great but took more than four times as long to fold as the bags, and crimping and fully sealing the packets required scissors, a ruler, and skill.

    • Speed
    • Ease of Use
    • Food Quality ★★★
    • Presentation ★★★

    $0.19 per use

  • Recommended

    Aluminum Foil

    Folding foil packets is easy and fast: It took a modest 2½ minutes to fill and seal one. But the presentation is poor: Your dinner looks like leftovers before you lift your fork.

    • Speed ★★
    • Ease of Use ★★
    • Food Quality ★★★
    • Presentation

    $0.10 per use

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